History of Lidice

The village is first mentioned in writing in 1318. After the industrialisation of the area, many of its people worked in mines and factories in the neighbouring cities of Kladno and Slaný.

Heydrich's assassination

Since 24 September 1941, SS-Obergruppenführer and General of Police Reinhard Heydrich had been Acting Reichsprotektor of the Nazi Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. This area of the former Czechoslovakia had been occupied by Nazi Germany since 5 April 1939.

On the morning of 27 May 1942, Heydrich was being driven from his country villa at Panenské Břežany to his office at Prague Castle. When he reached the Holešovice area of Prague, his car was attacked by the Slovak and Czech soldiers (on behalf of the Czechoslovak government-in-exile), Jozef Gabčík and Jan Kubiš. These men, who had been part of a team trained in Great Britain, parachuted into Bohemia in December 1941 as part of Operation Anthropoid. After Gabčík's Sten gun jammed, Heydrich ordered his driver, SS-Oberscharführer Klein, to stop the car. When Heydrich stood up to shoot Gabčík, Kubiš threw a modified anti-tank grenade at Heydrich's car. The explosion wounded Heydrich and Kubiš. Heydrich sent his driver, Klein, to chase Gabčík on foot. In the ensuing firefight, Gabčík shot Klein in the leg, below the knee. Both Kubiš and Gabčík managed to escape the scene. On 4 June Heydrich died in Bulovka Hospital in Prague from septicaemia caused by pieces of upholstery entering his body when the bomb exploded.

Late in the afternoon of 27 May, SS-Gruppenführer Karl Hermann Frank proclaimed a state of emergency and a curfew in Prague. Anyone who helped the attackers was to be executed along with their entire family. A massive search involving 21,000 men began. A total of 36,000 houses were checked. By 4 June, 157 people had been executed as a result of the reprisals, but the assassins had not been found and no information was forthcoming